It is Well—Even When it Isn’t

At the end of this very long day, I sing “It is Well with My Soul.” I’m cocooned in warmth and familiarity. Singing old tunes from Horatio Spafford and Fanny Crosby feels a bit like a homecoming. Like going back to the Southern Baptist church of my childhood and piling my Chinet plate high with casseroles at the post-service potluck.

Even as I’m comforted by that feeling, I’m assaulted by another, because today it does not feel well with my soul.

Today, my to-do list mocks me with too many unchecked tasks. I can almost hear my checkbook wince when it sees me. I feel pushed beyond my capacity as I visit a dear friend who just welcomed home her adopted daughter, as I still mourn the death of my own. A glance in the mirror reflects my mid-life state back at me.

There are tasks I can’t do, items I can’t afford, events that wound me, things I can’t change. So tonight, as my lips proclaim that it is well with my soul, my heart secretly wonders, How? How is it well?

FIGHTING TO FIND THE SOURCE OF OUR WELLNESS

On nights like this, when my flesh hijacks my thoughts, I must fight to reclaim lost ground in my mind. When I’m brought low, I need only look up, for the valley is the place of vision. I see God clearer in the depths. His light shines brightest in my darkness.

Locking eyes with him, I see the truth. I see his greatness; see him surrounded in splendor. I see my wickedness and the hopelessness of my state. I see his love for me as he takes my place on the cross. I see my sins paid for and his grace covering me. No longer his enemy, I behold the truth as his beloved daughter.

No matter how overwhelmed I feel, no matter what I can’t do, no matter what my problems are, I belong to God. I’ve been rescued from my rebellion and adopted into his family. I’ve been delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of Christ (Col. 1:13). I have peace with God through Christ (Rom. 5:1). I may be surrounded by problems, but my greatest problem—separation from God because of my sin—has been eliminated!

Christ made it well between God and me. The wellbeing of this relationship shapes all other aspects of my life. This is the greatest wellness, and having it gives me reason to rejoice. My rally cry is “It is well!”

IT IS WELL—NO MATTER WHAT

It’s important to share this rally cry with our brothers and sisters in the faith. We all need to be reminded that we are well, despite our coming up short. We all need to hear that “Yes, it is well, even when it doesn’t feel well.”

It’s well because Christ made it so. Our wellness is predestined by the father, secured by his son, and sealed by the Holy Spirit. It is done, and we are well.

Is your earthly body losing its fight against some disease? It is well, sickly saint. Your Father will welcome you home with a heavenly body that will not wear out for all eternity (2 Cor. 5:2). Press on. It is well.

Are you rejected, humiliated, or persecuted for the sake of Christ? It is well, despised saint. Christ was hated, too. “But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed” (1 Pet. 4:13). Glory is coming. It is well.

I’m not exactly lonely over here in the “life is hard” camp. I’ve got plenty of company and we’re all swimming in troubles, problems, difficulties, and unwanted circumstances. If this is our best life now, then we’ve been cheated!

And yet, our main problem is no more. I know my Father and he is with me. He’s forgiven my sins and given me a new heart that believes and trusts him. He’s gifted me with the righteousness of Jesus. A beautiful inheritance waits for me. Oh yes, it is indeed well with my soul!

GO AND TELL

Do you know a fellow believer in need of this rally cry? Go tell them that Christ has made it well—news that’s good for today as well as tomorrow. Tell them that whatever their lot, it is well with their soul because Christ has made it so.

Do you know an unbeliever who needs this rally cry? Go tell them Christ has regarded their helpless estate and has shed his own blood for their soul. Do they fear their sin is too great to be forgiven? Tell them that all their sin was nailed to the cross and they bear it no more, so praise the Lord with their soul.

Yes, dear saints, it is well for the soul that trusts in Christ. It is well for the soul that knows “this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Cor. 4:17). Everyday afflictions might cloud our vision, but God’s truth shines brightly through the haze.

We might feel the furthest thing from well, but we draw nearer to our God, who makes us well with each trial. Sing this rally cry!

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul!


Christy Britton is a wife and mom to four boys. She writes Bible study curriculum for Docent Research Group and serves as the Discipleship Classes Coordinator for Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, N.C. She is an orphan advocate with 127 Worldwide and contributes administratively to bring pastor training opportunities to Africa for Acts 29. You can follow her on Twitter.